Make The Most Of Your Mornings

Good morning!  I am loving being back here in Chicago and trying to get myself back into my normal routine.

I haven’t always been a morning person.  There was definitely a time when I would have preferred to wake up at 9:00am or gasp even 10:00am.  But gone are the days of college and here are the days of “somewhat” adulthood.  While I don’t wake up right at the crack of dawn each morning I have come to enjoy the actual routine that morning brings.

There are a few things I have found that can really help you get started on the right foot and set a great tone for the rest of your day.

Before you do anything else in the morning drink a tall glass of water.  After a nice restful sleep, your body is dehydrated.  By downing at least 16 ounces of water you help rehydrate your body, jump start your metabolism, and start flushing out toxins.  I strongly believe that it is very important to hydrate all day long.  When you start your day out with that first glass of water you truly set the tone for the rest of your day, making it easier to continue hydrating.

water

Enjoy a nice cup of coffee or whatever it is that you really love.  Personally I love a nice black cup of coffee.  I skip the sugar and milk and go right for the good stuff.  For me it is less about the caffeine and more about the aroma and heavenly scent.  When I prepare coffee at night I am already looking forward to my cup of Joe in the morning.  This time of year I love a cup of pumpkin spice flavored coffee (not the latte).  Add in a small teaspoon of coconut oil to jump start your metabolism and throw in a dash of cinnamon for a great morning detox and you are good to go.

I love this mug from my favorite girl Tatiana!

I love this mug from my favorite girl Tatiana!

I prefer to eat a small breakfast.  I stick to somewhere between 100-200 calories and usually grab some form of gluten free cereal.  The verdict on your morning breakfast seems to go back and forth so I say it is best to determine your own personal needs.  Most mornings I do get a run and some other workout in so I like to have just a little something in my belly.  I keep it minimal and make sure to give myself time to digest.

Some people can’t workout or run with breakfast in their stomachs and that is just fine too.  What is most important is to determine what works for you.  On the flipside, if you are doing a run of 5 miles or less your body might actually benefit from occasionally skipping breakfast before a run.  Our bodies hold more stores of fat than we need and by running on empty you can train your body to delve into those fat stores and use them as energy.  This isn’t just a tool for weight loss but also a great way to train your body to do this during long training runs and endurance races like marathons.  Just make sure you consume a carbohydrate and protein combination within 30 minutes after your run or workout.

On the other hand, and I speak from experience, some people who skip breakfast go quickly from not hungry to ravenous.  When this happens you might find yourself with a sudden blood sugar crash.  The results can be pretty detrimental.  Speaking from experience, you can end up in the kitchen eating anything and everything.  That nice little calorie deficit you thought you would make in the morning quickly turns into a calorie bust in the early afternoon.  Not everyone does this, but if you know you will (and I know I will) it is best to consume something in the morning.

Get a workout in!  I’m not talking about power lifting or doing a Zumba class.  I love adding in a nice workout that can be done while I enjoy my morning routine from the comforts of home.  While my coffee is a must, the other thing I love about the morning is watching the Today Show.  I just like getting all my news in with my favorite comical crew.  So while I drink my morning coffee I get down on the floor and spend 10-15 minutes doing planks and other core exercises.  I often throw in some upper body workouts with my free weights.  In less than 30 minutes I have already done an upper body and core workout and I still got my coffee and news in.  Even better it is just me and Al Roker so I might even still be in PJ’s and my hair is likely an unruly mess.

And I check blogs and Facebook too...

And I check blogs and Facebook too…

Getting that easy workout in, be it 10 minutes or an hour, really gets your day started on the right foot.  By hydrating, eating a light and healthy meal, and getting a minimal workout in you won’t believe how ready you are to take on the world.  Starting out with a healthy routine makes you more likely to follow the rest of your day up with other wise choices.  It is easier to reach for nutritious foods and you will find that you have a ton of energy.  This will likely leave you craving another workout and a lot less likely to skip that afternoon run.

What are your healthy morning habits?

18 thoughts on “Make The Most Of Your Mornings

  1. I’m using the time change to trick my body into waking up earlier to get in a workout! I just have water before working out (usually a 25-40 minute DVD; lately I’m loving body pump) and then I treat myself to a nonfat latte while I’m getting ready. My breakfast is usually a shake on the commute to work, and I have something more substantial (like overnight oats or yogurt & fruit) for a midmorning snack, once my stomach is more awake.

  2. We definitely have a similar routine: wake up, coffee, water, small breakfast, blogs etc, stretch, workout/run, home to shower, then off to work. And chocolate. Because obviously.

  3. Great tips! I’m not a morning person either, but I’ve been forced to see so many 430 am alarms. It’s not right, but now I don’t think I can go back. I’m used to getting my run done before the sun. I think it would take too much time if I tried to do it any other time now.

  4. I have got to work on drinking more water, and while I know that a glass of water first thing is the best, I have the hardest time making that a habit…
    But I also love black coffee with a little bit of coconut oil in it! Yum! Although, usually instead of a cup of coffee, for me its probably more accurate to say a pot of coffee. 😉

  5. Great tips! I am a super morning person (I wasn’t always as clearly a morning person as I am now, but I’ve never been a night owl by any means). Hydrating is super key for me. I like to eat 50-100 calories before a workout and then eat a real meal immediately after. I also think it’s important to have everything ready to go the night before (workout clothes, gym bag, lunch, etc.) for the morning so I can start my day without handling logistics.

  6. I have always been a morning person – and definitely agree with most of your stuff!

    For me, my routine is getting up, letting the dogs out, feeding the cats and dogs, DEFINITELY getting a big cup of water before heading out for my run. I never fuel before my morning runs, always after I get back and shower (and make sure the kids are up and going). Weekends are totally different …

  7. Such great tips! I have become the morning exerciser that I never thought I would be so now I’m pretty much up and right out to the gym or outside to run before I do anything else (I always have to remind myself to hydrate first!) I have been loving the way that the early morning workouts have been making me feel for the rest of the day!

  8. I really need to start drinking a glass of water in the morning. That would be such an easy healthy habit to add to my day. I love working out in the morning (it’s my favorite healthy morning habit) but I can’t eat anything beforehand. I just love getting a workout in, icing my knees and drinking a big cup of coffee while watching Good Morning America and checking blogs 🙂

    • That water one is funny because while it is so easy in theory it does take some practice to make it a habit. Once you do though it really is a quick morning trick. Love your morning routine ideas.

  9. I’ve started a morning gym habit. I wake up early, pray, eat a light breakfast, get ready for the gym while I watch the news. It took some getting used to but I’m feeling better than the days where I’d snooze 3 times and run to get to work on time.

  10. I have to get up in the morning to do my workout or it more than likely doesn’t get done at all. It’s a struggle because bed at this time of year is all warm and cozy. But if I get up and just do it, I feel so much better through the whole day. The water for me is key – I don’t drink enough and starting a habit of a glass in the AM will definitely help me. And breakfast – I’m a girl who can’t do without a huge bowl of warm oatmeal. Then I workout. It usually doesn’t impact me negatively and I need the fuel for my workout or struggle. Thanks for the great tips and a peek into your own routine 😛

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